Coca-Cola signs first 'virtual athlete' in latest Fifa game

Coke is set to release its first ever in-game advertising spot in the forthcoming Fifa 18.

The sequence in the game features Alex Hunter, the fictional protagonist in The Journey, a story mode introduced in Fifa 17 that returns this year, continuing Hunter’s story.

Last year, Hunter ‘signed a deal’ with Adidas, and this year he will add Coca-Cola Zero Sugar to the list of brands he is endorsing.

A can of the soft drink appears in the game in a sequence that nods to 1979 Coke ad "Mean Joe", in which an American Football star is given a bottle of Coke by a fan after a difficult game.  

The collaboration between Coca-Cola and the game’s publisher, EA Sports, will extend to special packaging and retail partnerships. The ad spot featured in the game will also be shared on social and be shown on out of home sites, including on the brand’s new 3D robotic sign in New York’s Times Square.

Matt Wolf, vice-president of entertainment, ventures and strategic alliances at The Coca-Cola Company, said: "This is an exciting brand innovation. Signing Alex Hunter puts Coca-Cola at the intersection of gaming and brand marketing within the most popular franchise sports game in the world."

The game is released on Friday 29 September for platforms including Playstation 4, Xbox One, PC and Nintendo Switch.

Dave Madden, head of global brand partnerships for EA, added: "This in-game Coca-Cola endorsement gives our fans a taste of life as a renowned football star and the opportunities that come along with it."

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